Nottingham were controversially denied a bonus point as
a last gasp interception allowed Bristol in for a try to seal a
13-27 victory at Meadow Lane.
That scoreline may well be an accurate reflection of Bristol's
domination of possession, but it says nothing about the sheer
determination of Nottingham's defence as they frustrated the
visitors and gave them a few scares when they did have the chance
They made Bristol work particularly hard for their win, and a
losing bonus point was the least they deserved for their efforts,
but it was snatched away from as they tried to move the ball away
from a breakdown around their own ten metre line.
At least four Bristol players appeared to be offside and the
inevitable interception brought them a bonus point try as Luke Eves
ran in deep into injury time.
The Green and Whites got off to a fine start as Dan Mugford
showed his class, beating one tackle and then accelerating between
another pair of defenders before sending in the supporting Sean
Romans to open the scoring in the sixth minute, and then adding on
Minutes later though Bristol created an overlap down their left
for winger Jack Wallace to race in for their first try. Adrian
Jarvis was just short with his conversion attempt.
Nottingham responded with another impressive attack to force a
penalty, but Mugford put his kick just wide.
As Bristol began to dominate a timely lineout steal allowed the
Green and Whites to clear upfield, but as the visitors forced a
series of close range lineouts Nottingham prop Conor Carey was
shown a yellow card.
A clever chip through caught the home defence out and full back
Auguy Slowik got the touch down to make it 7-10, Jarvis again
missing his conversion effort.
After a long spell on the defensive Nottingham finally got out
of their own half a couple of minutes before the break and won a
penalty for Mugford to level the scores.
And within minutes of the restart he put his side in front with
a second penalty just inside his own half.
Bristol were soon back on the attack though, but some fine
defence from Nottingham forced them into touch as they drove for
The visitors continued their domination though and from yet
another lineout deep in home territory back row man Ollie Robinson
crashed over, Jarvis this time slotting over the conversion to make
it 13-17 after 55 minutes.
As Bristol threw everything at them the Green and Whites
defended manfully to restrict them to half-chances.
But eventually the pressure brought a penalty in the second
minute of injury time for Jarvis to make it 13-20.
With a losing bonus point still in their pockets, Nottingham
went after the try that could have forced a draw.
In the seventh minute of injury time though that interception
allowed the visitors to snatch a bonus point of their own as
replacement Eves dived over for their fourth try, Jarvis completing
the scoring with the last kick of the game.